Mission Impossible

Filmstudy Mission Impossible

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The offensive line was given a difficult task (cue the Mission Impossible theme song)…

Protect an injured quarterback from further damage against a team looking to secure its division and bye.

Toss in the Patriots’ early lead and the job got a lot tougher.

As a whole, the line protected Flacco well, with just 2 of the 4 sacks charged to linemen and ATS on 22 of 42 drop backs.  The 41-7 score wasn’t reflective of the competitiveness, but the Ravens were soundly beaten and now face an uphill battle in terms of opponent motivation for the final weekend.

The scoring of the offensive line is based on 73 offensive snaps for the Ravens (excludes 1 kneel).

Monroe:  Monroe’s play had dropped versus the Vikings and Lions, but he was solid against the Pats.  Eugene was beaten inside by Chandler Jones for a QH (Q3, 5:48), but the Pats’ young star did not register a sack and had just 2 QHs and 2 tackles.  One thing that needs to improve is the ability of Monroe, Shipley, and Gradkowski to handle stunt exchanges.  The Patriots ran them relentlessly once they had some success.  Monroe again avoided any negative events as a run blocker and his score is bolstered by the fact that he makes an effort to find some sort of block on the back side of run plays.  Scoring:  67 blocks, 2 missed, 2 pressures, 1 QH, 1/6 sack, 59 points (.81 per play).  With an adjustment for Jones, that’s a solid B.

Shipley:  I want to like Shipley as a player.  He’s obviously trying hard, but lacks physical talent.  In one sense, he’s the poster child as to why it’s important to get good size-and-shape players on the offensive line.  That said, he’s played out of position and at the replacement level.  Shipley was flagged for illegal hands to the face (Q3, 6:43) to nullify a 16-yard completion.  Earlier, he pulled right to lead Pierce (Q2, 14:20).  The play blew up when Yanda was beaten by Spikes, but Shipley was fortunate to avoid a holding call on Ninkovich.  Scoring:  65 blocks, 6 missed, .5 pressure, 1/6 sack, 1 illegal use of hands, 57 points (.78 per play).  C with a small adjustment for the Wilfork-less Pats interior line.

Gradkowski:  Gino had a solid game in many ways.  He wasn’t penalized, didn’t have a negative scoring event on a run play, and didn’t allow any portion of a QH or sack.  However, I can’t say he had a good day in pass protection when he allowed 4 full pressures.  To put that number in context, Ryan Wendell has the 2nd most pressures allowed per PFF and his 22 are less than 1.5 per game.  On the positive side, Gino had 9 blocks in level 2 and 2 pancakes.  He and Yanda cleaned the middle effectively on Flacco’s QB sneak for the Ravens’ only TD.  Scoring:  65 blocks, 4 missed, 4 pressures, 57 points (.78 per play).  I would have given him a small positive subjective adjustment for the opposition, but he loses that for his contribution to the bad snap to Taylor (Q4, 2:05).  D.

Yanda:  Marshal has been the Ravens’ most consistent lineman the last 7 weeks.  He allowed his first partial sack since week 9 when beaten outside by Siliga (Q4, 12:09) on a play where the pocket was flushed by Ninkovich.  Siliga beat him outside for a pressure (Q3, 5:07) on the Ravens’ only scoring drive.  He was also beaten inside by Spikes on the Ravens’ only negative run play (Q2, 14:20).  Otherwise he did not miss a block as I have it scored.  He had 7 blocks in level 2 and pulled successfully on both attempts.  Scoring:  70 blocks, 1 penetration, 1 pressure, ½ sack, 63 points (.86 per play).  B.  Marshal’s raw scores for the past 6 weeks have all been between .85 and .88.  It’s a big relief to see he’s stepped up his play by so much from earlier this season and it seems likely the cause was injury related.

Oher:  Michael may play his last game as a Raven next Sunday in Cincinnati.  If he’d like to extend his career here, he’ll do well to play well against Carlos Dunlap.  His difficulty against the Pats was all as a pass blocker:

  • (Q1, 3:45)  He was bulled by Ninkovich for a pressure shared with Shipley.
  • (Q1, 6:48)  He was beaten outside by Ninkovich for a pressure.
  • (Q2, 5:11)  He was bulled by Ninkovich for a sack for which I charged him 2/3 with the other 1/3 split to Monroe and Shipley who allowed Jones to compress the pocket on the opposite side.
  • (Q3, 12:30)  He mysteriously did not block either Chandler Jones or Chris Jones, both of whom stunted through the right B gap as he was unoccupied.
  • (Q4, 12:09)  He was beaten outside by Ninkovich who flushed Flacco on a sack shared with Yanda.
  • (Q4, 10:47)  He was bulled by Ninkovich for another pressure.

Scoring:  63 blocks, 4 missed, 2.5 pressures, 1 QH, 1.17 (1/2 + 2/3) sacks, 48 points (.66 per play).  With an adjustment for Ninkovich, that’s a C-.

Others:  Rick Wagner made all 3 of his blocks and Jah Reid went 2 for 2 in jumbo packages.

Here is Flacco’s Ample Time and Space (ATS) chart for the game.

Joe’s aggregate results were approximately 33 yards worse than expectation based on his ATS opportunity set.  In particular Flacco ‘s results with ATS were marred by an awful start.  His first 5 opportunities with a clean pocket resulted in incomplete, incomplete, interception, sack -6, incomplete.

Tyrod Taylor had ATS on all 4 drop backs and completed just 1 pass for 2 yards to go along with a pick-6.  Uggh.

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Ken McKusick

About Ken McKusick

Known as “Filmstudy” from his handle on area message boards, Ken is a lifelong Baltimorean and rabid fan of Baltimore sports. He grew up within walking distance of Memorial Stadium and attended all but a handful of Orioles games from 1979 through 2001. He got his start in sports modeling with baseball in the mid 1980’s. He began writing about the Ravens in 2006 and maintains a library of video for every game the team has played. He’s a graduate of Syracuse with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Math who recently retired from his actuarial career to pursue his passion as a football analyst full time. If you have math or modeling questions related to sports or gambling, Ken is always interested in hearing new problems or ideas. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or followed on Twitter @filmstudyravens. More from Ken McKusick

Ken, I'm hoping we have the pleasure of an end of season review by you. I'm looking forward to it. Merry Christmas to All


Great article, very accurate and well written.


Thanks, Bruce. I will be producing year-end pieces again this season.


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